Schott Donates 'Desert Flower' to UA Optical College

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TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 10, 2006 -- A unique scultpture will greet visitors to the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences following a dedication Thursday of "Desert Flower," a gift from Schott and artist Christopher Ries.

The sculpture is displayed in the recent $17 million addition to the college's Meinel Building, in the center of the lobby area, close to a light shaft that emanates through five floors of the building and draws natural light into the lobby. Cut, carved, ground and polished from a piece of pure, clear optical glass cast at Schott’s facility in Duryea, Pa.,  it represents the work for which Ries, Schott's artist-in-residence, is known.


Above left: Lobby of the Meinel Building, College of Optical Sciences. Right: "Desert Flower," 1996, optical glass sculpture, Christopher Ries. (Photos courtesy University of Arizona)
"With additional lighting from above, Desert Flower will provide viewers with a visual expression of the power and beauty of the optical research carried out at the college," UA said in a press release.

Ries’ works -- among the largest whole, unassembled pieces of sculpted crystal -- "are deceptively simple in form but  engage viewers in an ever-changing intimate world of images," the university said. He uses Schott optical-quality glass exclusively to produce the sculptures, which have been displayed around the world. Recently, his work was exhibited at the Pennsylvania governor’s residence and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His studio/workshop is on the premises of the Schott Optics for Devices plant in Duryea.

Details of "Desert Flower," 1996, optical glass sculpture, Christopher Ries. (Photo courtesy University of Arizona)
Schott, which has also joined the college's industrial affiliates program, makes special glasses and glass ceramics for architectural applications, the household appliance industry, and for pharmaceutical packaging, optics and opto-electronics, information technology, consumer electronics, lighting, automotive engineering and solar-energy markets. The company is based in Germany, with a North America office in Elmsford, N.Y.

Jim Wyant, dean of the College of Optical Sciences, emceed the dedication in the main lobby of the Meinel Building, located at University Blvd. and Cherry Ave. Other speakers included Ries; Alexander Hagemann, executive vice president, Optics for Devices, Schott; George Davis, UA vice president and provost; and Leslie Tolbert, UA vice president of research.

Hagemann said, “The groundbreaking optics research conducted by the College of Optical Sciences has helped propel the optics industry forward, laying the groundwork for many of the innovative products that Schott produces today."

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Published: November 2006
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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